TNS Homework Policy 2018-19

We have weighed many factors when coming up with our school-wide homework policy.  We know that children’s lives are busy, as are the lives of the adults in their families who are asked to offer support with homework.  In addition, we know how important it is for children to have down time, family time, and plenty of opportunities for play outside of school.  Our community is made up of diverse learners, and we recognize that each child’s experience with homework will be different.

While many parents think of homework as a way for students to practice or extend what they are learning in school, homework can also be a way to give families a glimpse into the life of their child’s classroom.  While activities grow out of the needs and curriculum of each individual class and out of individual children’s needs, below are the kinds of homework a child may get at TNS:

Reading:  Children should read or be read to every day.  Your child’s teacher will let you know how long your child should read, depending on your child’s age and time of year.  Even as children get older and can read independently, they benefit from reading together with an adult.

Practice and Reinforcement:  There are skills and knowledge that children learn in order to become fluent readers, writers, and mathematicians.  While children spend time in class practicing, sometimes they benefit from additional time to practice a new skill or procedure at home.  Some examples of this kind of work are handwriting practice, math problems, or the memorization of math facts such as multiplication tables.  

Reflection:  Students may be asked to reflect upon a shared experience they have had at school.  This can include responding to questions about a field trip, a class discussion, or drawing a picture about a read-aloud.   

Connection:  Children may have assignments that ask them to talk with families about a topic or theme they are working on in class.  This might include interviewing a family member or taking a neighborhood walk. Students may also be asked to bring in something to share with the class related to a current class study.

Teachers will provide multiple options and formats for homework, as well as supports and modifications for students, as needed.  Teachers will communicate expectations around completion and production clearly to children and families, and expectations may vary per child.  A child may get assistance in completing assignments if needed during the school day. Homework is never intended to be a burden for a child or family, and communication between home and school should be ongoing.  
What to expect in each grade band:

In our Pre-K classes, children bring home and return books on a daily basis.

In our K/1 classes, in addition to daily reading, from time to time a teacher may assign a project or assignment related to the curriculum for children to work on with members of their families. 

In our 2/3 classes, homework routines will be gradually introduced, with differentiated expectations for 2nd and 3rd graders.  Reading is the daily homework, with the possibility of an additional activity, for example: math practice, social studies reflection, or literacy (spelling, handwriting, etc.).  Our intention is that a 2nd or 3rd grade student will not spend more than 20 to 30 minutes, including reading, on homework each night. Students may create their own assignments or extend them if they desire.

In our 4/5 classes, a menu of social studies, literacy, and math homework will be assigned at the beginning of the week with possibility for modifications throughout the week. Our intention is that a 4th or 5th grade student will not spend more than 40 to 50 minutes, including reading, on homework each night. Students may create their own assignments or extend them if they desire.  Homework is not graded, but teachers will track homework completion to ensure that children are getting the practice and support they need.

May 2018


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